18 December 2009

CGI porn... I've really gotta stop naming these as porn

Well I was going to begin this review by saying that I had just seen a pretty good remake of FernGully: The Last Rainforest, but apparently I’m months behind on that comparison. I do want to say that if FernGully had Cameron’s budget, we wouldn’t have to worry about losing the rainforests anymore.

I just saw Avatar, which is James Cameron’s latest opus and not the live action version of one of the best Nickelodeon cartoons in recent years. (So can’t wait for that movie next year.) It was good… not the best movie I’ve seen this year, but good none the less.

A CGI enthusiast’s wet dream, Avatar is 60% photo-realistic CGI work and motion capture. 60%! 60! I spent a half hour trying to make a CGI banana that looked semi-banana-ish. I can’t fathom how many man hours it took to accomplish a 2 hour and 42 minutes movie that is 60% CGI. My mind just exploded.

I may want to include some plot into my review, but really who needs plot with a movie this pretty. James Cameron, that’s who! If there is one thing this man can do it is write a good story. Yes, it parallels FernGully, but it’s still a good story.

Jake Sully is an ex-Marine (but is anyone really an EX-Marine?) whose twin brother just died. They don’t really explain how, he just does. He was a scientist who had been studying for years just to link with his avatar to study the Na’Vi up close and personal. Since all this money has already gone into growing a fully formed human-Na’Vi avatar, they figure that one twin is just as good as the other.

One thing to mention, and unless you’ve been living under a rock you already know this, but Jake is in a wheelchair. Through some accident that isn’t really explained, he has been left dead from the waist down. So when he’s linked to his avatar, he fully regained the use of his lower extremities. So there’s a very endearing scene when he first tries his new legs.

So Jake masterfully infiltrates the Na’Vi…

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

Through a very lengthy chase sequence (which was made all that much worse by the lack of focus I had in the theater) he is “captured” by Neytiri, the daughter of the king of one of the many tribes of Na’Vi. She brings him back, though she really doesn’t want to, and then is forced to teach him the ways of the world.

And that’s all I’m gonna say about the story. If you want more, then go see the movie. I’m not for spoilers. Well… I am, but I’m not gonna be the one to tell you.

I did enjoy the movie, especially once they cleaned up the focus, and I would recommend it. It does strike chords of other movies, but seriously when one the last time you’ve seen anything original in the theaters? It’s kinda long, but it paces well.

I don’t have a rating system. I may need to think one up. In the meantime, I say that you should see it, especially if you like CGI work. It’s got some damn good CGI.

Fiser, OUT!